An Australian rower who set out to rack up some kilometres while on
Covid-19 lockdown inadvertently broke a world record for the indoor
rowing half-marathon, officials said on Wednesday.
Like the rest of the Australian team, Georgie Rowe was training at
home in Sydney by herself last weekend as she deals with the
disappointment of not travelling to Japan this year for the Tokyo
Rowe, 27, was on a Concept2 rowing machine and such was her intensity
that she clocked a time of 1hr 19min 28.4sec over a distance of 21 097
It smashed the record for the heavyweight women's half-marathon set
five years ago by US rower Esther Lofgren by more than 40 seconds.
Rowing Australia spokesperson Lucy Benjamin said it was an
extraordinary effort in the circumstances, particularly as Rowe normally
works as part of a team in the women's eight.
"It's a mental challenge because you're on your own and you don't have your crew with you," she told AFP.
"And it's a tough machine, it's a full-body workout."
Rowe told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that her approach
was to plug the distance into the machine then "put some music on and
just go for it".
"Whether it is a world record or not, I just wanted to get the metres up for my state," she said.
When Rowe realised a record was in the offing she admitted to some
confusion about exactly how far she needed to row, 21 097 metres or
To be certain, she completed 21 098, leading to a minor delay in Concept2 recognising her achievement.
But the time is now listed on the manufacturer's website and Rowe
will no doubt be hoping for greater glory when she eventually competes
at the rescheduled Tokyo Games next year.